Environment
5:14 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

ORSANCO Board Elects Oil and Gas Attorney as Chairman

The regional compact that oversees water quality in the Ohio River has a new chairman. Kenneth Komoroski is an attorney that often represents the oil and gas industry.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission—or ORSANCO—is a regional body that oversees pollution in the Ohio River. It’s governed by a board made up of members from all eight member states, plus up to three federal commissioners appointed by the president. The board appoints its own chair.

Of the 24 people currently on ORSANCO’s board, about half are state environmental regulators or other state officials. Several represent wastewater treatment plant operators, one is a professor, and three are lawyers for the extraction industry.

Komoroski falls into the latter camp. His resume includes two decades representing oil and gas companies—the industries that are currently under fire for a practice called “fracking,” and which produce large amounts of wastewater. ORSANCO is, of course, the body responsible for regulating that discharge if it goes into the Ohio River and environmental groups are concerned as chair Komoroski will be more lenient on polluters.